THE BLOG
10/31/2016 02:54 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2017

The Open Space Of Genders, Sexual Orientations, Identities And Freedoms

THINKING OUT LOUD - The open space of genders, sexual orientations, identities and freedoms

I feel like I have some things in my minds and that writing them down may be the only way to get rid of them. Or maybe to embrace them better.

Who am I? I can't answer that. But what am I?

I'm a girl. I'm okay with that. But also I'm not okay. When I was a child, I wanted to be a boy for a while. And then it went away. I don't really remember if it was because I finally accepted my body, or because I realized being a girl didn't prevent me from liking other girls. Now I feel like I'm okay being a girl. Or more exactly, I don't especially want to be a boy. I'm glad to be a girl because I love my body, I love what I can do with it. So actually, I'm not glad to be a girl, I'm glad to be myself. I'm glad to have the body I have : healthy, aesthetically average, entirely functional, supporting. What wouldn't I like it? It's useful. More, it's indispensable. I'm grateful for it. So I don't have any problem with my body. But I don't feel the need to insist on the fact that I'm a girl. Biologically speaking, I have certain attributes that make me a female in the human kind. Okay. No big deal here. Socially speaking, I would like to be considered as a person first of all. I would like you to look at me not as a tomboy, not as a butch, not as genderqueer, not as agender, not as anything related to my gender. Look at me with hate, with love, with compassion, with curiosity, whatever you want, but just don't look at me as if I was determined by some biology. I don't deny biology, I just think that culture has made us so much more sophisticated than that, that it has allowed us to pretend to so much more complexity. No, we can't deny biology. But we can choose not to take it into account when we address each other as social beings. This is, at least, my belief and my hope.

Now, second point : I'm gay. Alright. No problem with that either. And I have to say, I even took some guilty pleasure giving myself more and more labels. Gay is great, but a little bit too standard now. Almost bland (here I have to precise that I am completely aware of my luck to be born and live in an environment where my being gay can actually pass as standard). Anyway, I read, and read, and meanwhile I picked up a few more words for myself : demisexuel, panromantic, polyamourous. Sometimes all at the same time, sometimes not. I found a certain freedom in the diversity and multiplicity of labels that I can apply to myself. One label is a social norm, the combination of them is the margin of exercise of my freedom. And yet, lately, I've also begun to question this identity, what I would call, next to the gender identity, my sexual and romantic identity. Because really, is my sexual and romantic being different than my social being? The diversity of my relationships is just similar to the diversity of my friendships. And sometimes, the boarder is blurry.

So this is what I am, or rather, this is where I am : kinda female, kinda queer. And, most of all, very confused.

Is this confusion the sign of an emancipation, or of a new alienation? Wasn't I happier when I was 6, not even thinking about being a girl or a boy, not even thinking about being straight or gay? Beatis pauperes spiritu, Voltaire said. But this is not satisfactory. I believe that awareness is always better than ignorance, even when it makes us miserable. And I believe that intellect and culture can help us overcome this misery they created in the first place. Of course, I have no doubt on the fact that the patriarchal, heterocentrist society we live in has been and keeps being an alienation for all of us. And yes, gender and women studies have helped us to question these frames, to break some walls, and yes, that was, according to me, necessary and salutatory. Nevertheless, it also opened a frightening number of doors and windows and I'm like Harry Potter in the Ministry of Magic, trying to pick the good one. But what if there is no good one? What if they all lead to the big unknown open space? What if I end up just bumming around, attracted periodically to some big words, big worlds of certainty, and then constrained to abandon it when I meet a new question mark?

I guess the question is the following one : am I genuinely free when I am absolutely free to choose who I want to be? I'm not so sure anymore.